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Blade or thrower?

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PACub100

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Curious, what's the opinion on these? I have both a plow / blade and a thrower / blower for my 100. I haven't had much luck with either. Plow will ride on top of packed snow, so if it snows overnight and I don't have time to plow in the morning before leaving for work, it won't go all the way to the pavement in my driveway. The thrower clogs sooooo easily ( like within a few feet) unless the snow is freezing cold powder.

I have a QA36 thrower and am going to try attaching heavy mud flap material to the blades of the thrower to close the clearance gap. Lots of YouTube videos on this, claims that it significantly improves performance. Also plan on swapping out the sprockets on the drive chain to speed up the auger / throwing paddles. I also thought about adding some weight to the plow to see if that helps..

Being a 100, swapping attachments is not a 15 minute job, so I want to put one attachment on it and leave it be to use in the winter.

What do you all think? Any advice? Any luck modifying either of these to work the way we envision them working? 🤔
 

gloughery

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George Loughery
I would stick with blower, however in the past several bad winters in Lancaster County PA my QA42 would clog before I got out of the garage and onto the driveway. Creeper didn’t help. So I bought a Honda walk behind to do the job and kept the QA to play with once the heavy stuff was gone. All those silicone sprays and special paints didn’t help this single stage blower!
 

PACub100

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Did you make any modifications to it or does it work good stock?
I agree with gloughery on sprays... I tried cooking spray, WD-40 and even used motor oil... nothing seemed to help.
I want to get a 1450 and eventually thought about a QA42 so your comment seems promising. 👍👍
 

abthomas

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new florence pa
As a young lad we had a 105 with the snow thrower here in western Pa. with a gravel driveway back in the days when it snowed from nov to march . Never had much trouble with the snow thrower although until you had a packed layer on the bottom it would pick up a lot of gravel and wail it 25 or 30 feet towards the neighbors yard ! Only with a wet heavy snow you'd have to take a smaller bite to avoid clogs.On a non paved drive I personally like a blade better but you have to keep the early snows pushed back far enough that you don't run out of room to push it during a long winter season , that is unless you have a cub with a Danco loader to pick it up and move it !!!!
 

PACub100

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Perhaps my answer is pretty simple and obvious with the replies... remove, restore and sell the QA36. Put the plow on the 100 and get a QA42 for a 1450 I'm set on getting.... that way I can mow in the spring till fall and swap out the deck with a blower easily and use whichever one works best for the occasion.

Sometimes the answer is like the over-enthusiastic kid in the classroom waving his hand in the air "pick me! Oooo, pick me!!" and I am like the teacher acting blind and ignoring it.... 🤔
 

snicklas

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Scott Nicklas
Here is my opinion. I have both, a 42" Hydro Angle Blade and a QA42A Thrower. This is what I have at my disposal at my house.

Dad has had a 42" Blade since the mid 70's, and I have been using a blade since I was old enough to run the tractor my myself (40+ years). Did picked up a QA36A after I left home, and the first thing I got for my 1450 (besides the tractor and deck) was a snow blade. At the time, we picked up a manual blade and chains (even though I have a twin stick 1450). I ran that for a while, 1450, 42" Blade, Turf Tires and chains. No extra weight, but I am 350+, so my bare tractor with me on it weighs more that some with weights.....

I had a buddy that was getting out of Cubbing (with his property a compact tractor and a BIG Zero-Turn was better suited). He sold me everything he had. Part of the lot was a 1650, QA42A Snow Thrower, 55 lb plastic "off topic" weights, and a 42" Hydro Angle Blade, along with other stuff).

With that purchase, the manual blade was sent home with Dad. The 1650 got the QA42A, Weights and turfs with chains. The Twin-Stick 1450 got the Hydro Angle Blade and turfs with chains. This setup started with the winter of 14-15. I would set both tractors up, and put them in the garage waiting on whatever snow me might get. Since that winter, to move snow, the 1650 has only been out of the garage maybe 3 or 4 times. This first time was the first snow after I got the thrower, so I just had to use the thrower. It was a heavy, wet, dense snow, so it didn't do well. After that, I tried in different types of snowfall, but the novelty wore off quickly. I think a big part of that is the snow we have been getting over the last several years here in central Indiana just isn't thrower friendly. A two stage blower, yes, but not a thrower. Other than those hand full of times, snow has been moved with the 1450 and the hydro blade. The last 2 winters I haven't even pulled the thrower out of the barn. But, I think I have only had to get the 1450 out 2 or 3 times..... and that is more so the vehicles will stay in the driveway, not that we had that much snow. I have a fairly steep driveway, and any snow cover and the trucks end up back out in the street..... I don't think Dad has used his thrower more than a few times either. Now, since he and Mom are retired, his policy is if he can't get the 4x4 pickup out of the garage, they don't need to go...... LOL

We don't have as much issue with the blade wanting to cut through, but, the two tractors that we use to push snow (Dad's 149 he bought in 1978 and my 1450 I bought in 2007) have ALWAYS had the float lockout pin installed in the lift. I know this goes against the norm, but those 2 tractors have had that pin since we got them. The 149's pin has been in there for 42 years, year around. Our experience is, the lift rod, along with the blade trip has plenty of "give" and have not broken anything (our experience, others may have different results). If you want the blade to cut, it's going to need some downforce, and this is the way we choose to get the downforce.
 

kmcconaughey

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Kraig McConaughey
I have been using a 125 with a QA42 since 1992 when I bought my house. I grew with the 125 as my parents bought it new in 1969. It would plug up if the snow was wet and it didn’t throw very far, that is until I sanded off all rust inside the auger housing and discharge chute and repainted it then painted over that with graphite paint. It no longer plugs up and it really throws the snow. I have a gravel driveway so I drive on the first snowfall to pack it down, this works good to minimize the gravel that gets thrown into the lawn.
 

jdrong

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Jdrong
I have a 149 with QA42 snow thrower. Over the years that I've had it, I've tried some of the "improvements". First was to change the pulley on the blower from 3.5" to 3" (If I remember right). That seemed to help some. But, not much improvement with heavy wet snow. Next was painting graphite paint on the chute and center flat blades on the auger. I touch up the paint every Fall. Again some improvement, but I wanted more, especially with heavy wet snow. Last Fall I ran across a forum describing bolting rubber paddles to the flat blades on the auger. Took my time and mounted rubber extensions so that they are close or slightly rubbing the housing. That seemed to be a noticeable improvement. Seemed to help with heavy wet snow too, none of the usual clogging, but we also didn't have that much wet snow this season...so far. I would recommend doing all of those mods. Done looking for mods for my snow thrower for now, but time will tell. Didn't bother using my manual angle blade this year either.
 

mstreet

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Mark Street
Hi everyone. I rarely post here and it seems it's usually when I have a question. But today I can add my $.02

My 1650 has been in the family since brand new. I picked up and totally refurbished a QA36 thrower for it about 20 years ago. Yes, it has it's idiosyncrasies but here's how I get around them.

1) About 18 years ago I installed a smaller pulley on the QA36 to make it spin a tad faster. Works great. Belt still gets enough 'traction' to operate without slipping. I tighten the belt to just a moderate tightness. If it did slip, I would spray belt dressing on it but it doesn't.

2) I take care of my equipment. Every summer I 'Go through' the thrower. I inspect it, look for rust from the previous salty winter and treat accordingly. About every 3 years I remove the auger, replace bearings if necessary and paint the auger and the rest of the thrower.

3) This is really part of #2 but I wanted to emphasize. Over the years I have tried Slip-Plate, etc. Here's my proven technique: I paint the heck out of the entire thrower. Yeah, the first few times I sprayed on the 'correct' color off-white. Not any more. Now I find the GLOSSIEST white paint that I can find at H Depot or wherever and I ~brush~ it on heavily. Several coats. With the auger out, I brush the big thrower housing and chute so the brush stokes are parallel to the direction of travel of the snow so there is less resistance as the snow passes through. This is by far the slickest, slipperiest, most durable setup I have found. And I now have so many coats of paint on it that it doesn't even rust except in the most high stress areas: Random spots on the auger blades and it's housing. Especially the bottom of the housing where salty snow melt sits after it warms in the garage. Oh, in the off years when I don't remove the auger I still paint the auger and housing by reaching a brush in there and still coat the entire housing and auger. My thrower has gained several pounds as a result of all the paint over the years. As a result, there are some areas that will never rust.

4) Operating technique. No issues except in heavy, wet snow. Many times, at low speeds, the thrower will just 'snowplow' and push the wet snow ahead of the unit and it won't enter the unit. So I back up about 5 feet and then ram it. If it's very deep snow I will only take a partial 'bite' of the snow (Not full 36 inch width) to avoid bogging the engine. The first pass is always the slowest. With subsequent passes I make high speed passes (Even in wet snow) but only partial 'bites' and it works great. Another technique on that first pass when it wants to 'plow' the snow: Instead of ramming the wet snow, left the thrower an inch or two off the ground and the snow goes right into the thrower. After that, drop the thrower back on the ground and finish that inch or two deep snow that you left behind.

We have a 200 foot paved driveway and I've never had to hire someone to clear our drive for us.
 

djkelley

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Dan Kelley
plows move the snow, but its still there 'til it melts. snowthrowers are magic, I don't know where it goes, but its gone
 

PACub100

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Hahahaha, yes when my thrower actually works it's great. Problem I have is that I have a bank up to my yard on one side of my driveway, neighbor's yard in the other side.
But since my girlfriend is my neighbor, if she starts complaining about my snow in her yard, I'll just cut off sex for a week...😂
 

glippert

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Greg Lippert
Mark - Well that's just great. You hardly ever post anything, and now when you do it makes me feel like a real slacker! ;) I wish I was as dedicated to the maintenance of my equipment!
 

jwilkinson

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Dec 21, 2004
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James Wilkinson
Blade or Blower. I've run both on my 1810 in PA with our wet snows. Blade can be fun just plowing fast. 220 lbs of me plus chains and tires loaded with washer fluid. Downhill on a 70 ft drive. Just a big kid having fun. Blower can work well also. Qa42 with a smaller diameter pulley to speed up auger. Keep it clean. Go through snow as deep as you like. Even over top of blower. Rev up engine and dont go too fast. Both work great, when we used to have snow. Matter of personal preference. For 4 inches or less, the plow was fastest. Over 10 inches the blower was fastest. The plow was not as efficient in snows over a foot. When using the blower that 5 foot broom handle was great for clearing occasional clog when I went too fast.
 

memorgan

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Mick morgan
Caleb and i have both,This year fitting up a tractor apiece with Thrower and blade, key points on throwers is keeping things mechanically in good repair and also clean, most of the good points have been covered , graphite in the chute area and clean paint work wonders as far as snow clogging up this area, this year i used cooking oil spray on the throat of mine and i have to say ,i think its a plus, after each session of throwing, it got coated, I'm sold on it,
Another thing we both did is to remove the stock slide shoes on the bottom of the throwers and replace them with long sections of angle iron,Inch and a half wide,notched in the front and pulled up and welded at about a 30 degree angle. Each skid is about 12 inches long ,and we set the dept of the thrower about a half inch off the ground, to keep from picking up the gravel, and drilled and bolted them solid,the longer shoe makes a huge difference as to keeping the thrower level and glides over the cement cracks, keeps you from eating the steering wheel,
 

PACub100

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Woodbury, Pennsylvania
Wow, there's alot more people from PA on this forum than I thought there'd be...👍👍
I think I'm going to put the plow back on the 100, possibly put some weights on it. When I get a 1450, put a thrower on it and do as suggested in all the advice from this thread. If it's too bad, I've got my 94 Suburban with beefy tires to make a path...👍👍
 

sblunier

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Steve Blunier "Mr. Plow" (Central IL)
Throwers work best when run at full 3600 rpm, with HP behind them.....and then run completely full.....feed them until the engine is pulled down hard into the governor. Sounds odd, but that's how they work best. They need more snow pushing the existing snow through.

Gear drives have a hard time pulling that off and 14hp plus helps too!
 

dgeary

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Dennis Geary
I'm a bit late chiming in here. I've used both a blade and a QA42 thrower. I haven't used the blade since I got the thrower. It takes less than half the time to clean my drive with the thrower vs the blade plus I don't get piles of snow that build up over the course of the winter.
My QA42 was an old, beat up thrower that I rebuilt and converted to QA42A status. It still looks beat up and is still rusty. I agree with sblunier about keeping the thrower full. But I still have the stock size pulley and even run it at part throttle at times. I seldom have had a problem with it plugging even with a heavy snowfall where the accumulation is higher than the thrower. I've have even blown wet slush with it. Based on my experience, I've never understood the problems that others have had with theirs. I've had less problems with my QA plugging than my neighbors have had with their 2 stage blowers.
 

sblunier

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Steve Blunier "Mr. Plow" (Central IL)
Throwers have a very specific diet......you have to feed them just right and they are happy......

That said....ALWAYS 3600 rpm......
 
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